Saturday, July 03, 2010


File this one under "cool new words to ponder."

I am finally allowing myself to love weather again. Soaking up the summer.

Can't tell you how perversely smug I feel watching TV news from Vancouver, the daily weather report, noting that nothing has changed or ever will change there, that it's still raining and summer has not yet arrived. Not that it ever will, either. Maybe one or two hot days in a row, then another week of cool cloudy sky, breaking up the "summer" with a week of "winter."

Here, the weather is the kind of hot, sweltering, full-on-sun-boring-down-all-dayl-o-n-g, sleeping-on-top-of-the-bed kind of heat all-night-long, window open (in a place where it's safe to leave windows open) dayafterdayafterdayafterday weather I've missed for so long, weather that brains can revel in after the combination of such a long hiatus and cold winter.

I'm in hot summer heaven.

Not that it's pleasant to be out in such sun; rather it's heat affecting skin, opening pores, challenging sweat glands - it's the feel of a nervous system reversing its normal protective mode, pouring out sweat like an offering.
I do have an air conditioner, but prefer to tough out the heat if I can. These bones feel heat getting all the way into them for a change. My brain enjoys the process of feeling heat getting all the way to bone, does not want stress or pressure or distraction to be somewhere or do anything else, just wants to pay attention to this sensation it remembers from a long long time ago. Childhood. Prior to air conditioning.

So, maybe it's the long hot days drowning head tilts back mouth struggles for air can't speak legs won't move arms push down can't reach.

Maybe the internet and google are making my brain too shallow and distractible.

Maybe it's a combination of all these. Whatever.

Some little grumble deep inside my head reminds me that I have a presentation to get ready for later this month, that I have not yet tackled.

Desuetude is a word to describe the laying aside of something, like a term or word or habit of thought or law no longer useful. A great word. I came across it in a book called Biology of Sensory Systems. If I had to live the rest of my life on a desert island and could take one book to keep from going mad with boredom, it would be this book.

On page 38 the author, Christopher Upham Murray Smith (who has participated in writing many books), culminates a preliminary introduction to the complexity of the visual system with its multiplicity of serial and parallel sensory processing circuitry with this sentence:
"The idea of a single hierarchical stream of information proceeding to ever higher "centers" in the brain is falling into desuetude."
I'll go back to the book now, now that I've managed to cobble up a blogpost about desuetude and realize I've laid aside my upcoming presentation to the point where I better start to reframe it as a commitment that requires a bit of attention. But I so do want to also continue enjoying my first real summer weather in absolute decades. Maybe I can have it all. Apply myself intensively to the project a few hours a day, lounge around the rest of the time drinking cold tea or coffee out of the fridge over ice cubes, watching TV, working on a jigsaw puzzle, observing the creep of the sun across the balcony until at about 5 PM it blasts directly in through the screen door, tries (and fails, yet again! Haha!) to boil me off my own bones.

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